3 Comments Posted by Medical Historian

*sob!* This just makes my life so much harder! There are lots of archives that would have been thrilled to take on files like these. This has happened all over the place. When the Ellis Island Hospital closed they turned off the lights and walked away. 20 years later people reported seeing patient charts blowing all over the island. Now it is impossible to know who passed through there or what really happened...
TB didn't only affect the lungs; it could destroy almost any part of the body, including bones. People were most concerned with pulmonary TB because of how contagious it was, but it was quite common for TB to cripple people, as well.
Those are sputum cups; they're for the expectorate that TB patients cough up. They would have been disposed with by burning or else possibly used for specimen slides to test the "germ count" on each patient. Your sputum had to be free of TB bacilli for a certain number of months before you could be considered cured or arrested, and released.